At a recent town hall meeting, California TEApublican Rep. Tom McClintock asserted that there is no crime on Wall Street because bankers don’t use guns!
Of course, using that reasoning we are incarcerating a lot of people who have never committed a crime, after all, that mugger just yanked the little old lady’s purse off of her arm, he didn’t use a gun, therefore no crime. How about that woman who was dealing pot on the street corner? By McClintock’s “reasoning” no gun, so no crime.
I suppose it really isn’t a far-fetched conclusion at which to arrive when you look at what goes on in his workplace — the U.S. Congress. In 2009 a bill was introduced to outlaw the trading on insider information by members of Congress and their staff members. As a result of having prior knowledge of Congressional actions they have, for years, cashed in on investments that others without their special knowledge would not be inclined to make. Predictably, the bill went nowhere.
But according to Georgia State University business professor Alan Ziobrowski, there are compelling reasons laws should be enacted to stop this type of insider trading. Ziobrowski conducted a study which showed that Congressmen and their staff fare much better in the market than the average investor — by a whopping 12% a year!
It’s no surprise that those engaged in white-collar crime themselves would shy away from calling it criminal though. McClintock went a step further, grasping at straws really, when he said that the victims of these white-collar criminals just made bad financial decisions and should buck up and learn from their mistakes. I guess that Bernie Madoff shouldn’t be doing 150 years just because his victims made the bad financial decision to entrust their life savings to him. Oops…that’s right…no gun, no crime.
Watch the video, courtesy of Think Progress: